If, regarding the month I spent in Laos, the first part had been surprising, the second one … well … would have been even more.... Read More
LAOS (First Part): the North, Luang Prabang, Phonsavan and Vientiane (15 – 31 December)
After two months in China, Southeast Asia finally arrived.
Leaving behind me one of the world’s largest Nations, once I came to Boten border I thought that the land I was facing would be short, simple, and far from being surprising.
Well, never before I had been so wrong.
On December 15th, I set foot for the first time in a country I didn’t know anything about and that would have been, for a month, day after day, nothing but astonishing: Laos.... Read More
CHINA – YUNNAN II: Dali Lake and Xishuangbanna (9 – 14 December)
Relying from a day-dream, I realized that my Chinese Visa was about to expire.
The passage for Laos was still hundreds of miles away, and so, on December 9th, I left again.
Always in Yunnan, but southwards.
First towards the blue shores of Dali Lake, then towards the first palm trees and Siam huts in the land border called Xishuangbanna.
My Chinese days had come to the end, and I still remember the sensations of those moments: a great desire to explore new countries, the tiredness of those two difficult months in Zhong Guo (ancient name for China) and a bag of joy and gratitude for all the experiences I had the fortune to live and which I had to list, before going out, in order to be able to believe that I had really lived them.... Read More
CHINA – Shaxi: the Way to a Dream (8 December)
8 December, Shaxi (China) | Day 190 🇨🇳
I’m not used to write down the detailed history of my days (as I think it’s boring for me and for those who read me), but today I’ll make an exception.
What will follow may seem coming out of my fantasy, but nothing is invented.
A surreal day, between dreams and reality, which I’ll keep forever among my best memories.
Of this journey, and of my life.... Read More
CHINA – Yunnan I: Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shaxi (30 November – 7 December)
After 40 days at the Yanghsuo Outside Inn, I felt it was time to move on.
I wanted to walk through new roads and explore some unknown regions; Southeast Asia was very close, but I decided to follow the call of a Chinese region I had so much heard about and which had been nourishing for years my hidden travel fantasies.
Yunnan, for a few weeks, would have been my new horizon.
My theater. My jubilation.... Read More
CHINA: a “home” called Yangshuo Outside Inn (23 October – 28 November)
A town (Yangshuo), a calm river (Yulong), an enchanted valley and hundreds of mountains worthy of the best poems. And then Betty, Laure, Michelle, Xiaoping, the whole staff of a beautiful little Guesthouse and a friend named Ronald.
This, my Chinese “home” for over 40 days: Yangshuo Outside Inn.... Read More
CHINA (First part): passing the North, Beijing and Guilin (16-22 October)
A night train for a Tolkienian border-town named Zamyn Uud, an electronic cathedral in the middle of nowhere as a “gate”, a rusty truck to reach Erlian bus station, a whole night lying on the cot of a night bus to Beijing, loosing my sight on the contours of Inner Mongolia and trying to combine the dots of the stars, under the tender and reassuring look of my first Chinese moon.
This, the first impact with Great China.
Then a glimpse of Beijing and Guilin, and a slow ride between Guanxi‘s green mystic pinnacles.... Read More
MONGOLIA: Ulaanbaatar, Terelj Park and Chinese Visa (3-15 October)
When someone asks me “how is Mongolia?”, unfortunately, I cannot answer.
After a surprising month in Russia, in fact, I came in together with the first cold and early winter.
My two weeks in Mongolia were not valleys, lakes, amazing stars, nomadic welcomes and millennial silences, but snow, chaos, traffic, smog, boredom and anxiety for the Chinese Visa which was just a big trouble.
So my Mongolia, at the end, was 11 difficult days in Ulaanbaatar – one of the most terrifying cities I’ve ever met on my way – and two more “escape-days” in Terelj Park, where I had a preview of all the immense splendor of Great Mongolia which … I would have only imagined.... Read More
RUSSIA (Second Part): Siberia and Bajkal Lake (19 September – 2 October)
The first two weeks in Russia had already left indelible signs. St. Petersburg, Moscow and the Transiberian Railway had suddenly moved my journey to another level. Catharsis, out of a sudden.
After 50 hours of wagons and tracks, I finally touched a mythical land: Siberia.
In Novosibirsk, where I would have found summer and the joys of staying in a family.
In Irkutsk, where I would have danced for a few days with the fairy-tale visions from Bajkal Lake.
In Ulan Ude, where my skin would have felt the first cold of the Mongolian steppe, and I would have offered my last “dobroe utro” and “spasibo” before heading South. Towards the belly of Asia.... Read More